For the Michaels Makers Challenge this month, I was asked to make a creative gift and custom gift-wrap.
For my gift, I decided to create some sewn journals. These are an easy and inexpensive gift, and they also make great stocking stuffers.
I ended up making 5 journals for this gift, but a set of 3 is pretty standard, or just one with a ribbon and a pen is still a great gift.
Paper Pad (the one I used is only $5 today! And you can make up to 48 Journals with it!)
Step 1: Cut your cover to size. I used full-sized letter paper (8.5×11) and placed it on a 12×12 sheet of paper that I had cut down to 8.5″ leaving the width 12″. I used 12 sheets of paper – this will create 24 papers, and 48 pages (back and front).
Step 2: Fold and sew. The way that I do this is to fold the cover sheet ONLY, crease the fold and then unfold. This gives you a guide for sewing. Then place the papers centered on the fold, and sew up the middle.
Step 3: Use a bone folder to crease the spine. I can’t think of a single tool that does this job as well as a bone folder. I’ve had this one since my bookbinding days at college. Definitely a great investment!
Step 4: Trim. Once your spine is folded. You’ll need to use a NEW xacto blade to trim ALL of the edges. Place your straight edge firmly where you want to cut, and then use the xacto knife with medium force to slice through all your pages. You may need to cut more than once, thats okay. Better to cut a few times with medium force, than to hit it with full force and ruin the edge.
Trim the top, bottom, and side for a perfectly-edged journal.
Step 5: Repeat for as many journals as you want to make!
For the wrapping part of this project, I wanted to create a box that perfectly fit the journals. I did this by hand, but you could use a Cricut Explore (that cuts and scores in the same pass!).
Step 1: Measure your journals to get the finished size of the box. Mine was 8″ x 5″. Then add on the height of the stack of journals. Mine was about 1″. You’ll have to add the height measurement to each side of your original rectangle. Then if you desire, you can add another .5″ to fold back over so that you don’t have raw edges on the final box.
Step 3: Fold box along all score marks, glue tabs with a glue runner, and then glue the flaps and fold into place.
Check out the other Michaels Makers this month:
*This post contains affiliate links. Product for this project was provided by Michaels Craft Stores
2 weeks ago I unveiled my 2014 Michaels Dream Tree, and today I’m going to share some of my tips for decorating Christmas trees. Here’s my finished tree in all it’s glittery glory:
So how did I get there?
TIP 1: Use Mixed Greenery Garlands
When dealing with a fake tree you need some greenery variation to bring added depth, color, and texture to your tree. My preferred method is to pick up some mixed greenery garlands and weave them through the branches of the tree.
Here you can see the bare tree on the left, and then on the right I’ve tucked the garland in and around branches positioning the branches and pine cones (part of the garland) so that they stand out, but also appear natural. I ended up weaving 4 garlands through the tree.
Here’s a close up of how the garland branches integrate with the tree.
Here you can see the top of the tree. I started my first garland at the top and made it so that several of the garland branches were positioned vertically and extended the height of the tree by a few inches. It also makes the top just a little bit more full.
TIP 2: Use picks to add visual size
Once the garland is integrated, I move onto picks. I love love love using picks to decorate trees. They ad some sparkle, fullness, and interest. At Michaels, they have picks in several different areas of the store. My favorite picks are in the floral department. I only use a few of theses because they are larger.
I found these gorgeous frosted sage-looking bush picks in another area of the store. I ended up cutting some of the stems off to make them go a little bit further in the tree.
And my favorite picks of all are the little glitter picks. The color on these were perfect, a warm white gold color. I also love how in the tree they look like clusters of mini glitted pine cones. Glitter picks are always a good way to bring some bling and texture to your tree.
After all the picks are placed just so, I tucked some wide cream ribbon in and around some of the branches. Then I moved onto ornaments.
TIP 3: Use ornaments with a variety of textures